News that the Government is considering plans to privatise sections of the UK’s road network poses a real threat to the rural road network warns the 80,000 strong British Motorcyclists Federation.
Commenting on the plans, the BMF say that motorcyclists are far more aware of poorly maintained road surfaces than most car drivers and because private investors will only be interested in high returns from major trunk roads and motorways, the lesser used rural roads favoured by motorcyclists will suffer.
Privatisation will result in a two-tier roads system say the BMF with the most lucrative roads creamed off and the others becoming ‘Cinderella roads’ deprived of investment and left to deteriorate.
While many local authorities already contract out their roads maintenance, their maintenance programme is still under council control. Taking financial control away from them will mean that private profits will take precedence over service say the BMF.
Tolling will also be an issue for motorcyclists. The BMF have always maintained that motorcycles make little demands on road construction and inflict negligible damage on road surfaces. In fact say the BMF, motorcycles already incur a disproportionate amount of road tax for their size (£74 pa for a 600cc machine as against £95 for a five seater 1600cc car) and motorcyclists see any additional charges as being grossly unfair.
The UK needs a sound roads infrastructure but the road network is far too important to be privatised say the BMF.
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